Watched the race at Pocono today, one of the best races I've seen. No wrecks. One time somebody lost traction in a curve and smoked the tires sliding across the track in front of a herd of cars not hitting one, sliding like on ice, sliding, sliding, plumes of white smoke billowing from the tires and he came to a stop in the road to pit row, where he needed to be. One lost a valve that fell into the piston space. He left the race and came back in, a lot of laps down, but he finished the race. It was an all-out race from start to finish. The part I liked best about it was it was a complete race without pile-ups that put several good contenders out of the race. I think only seven that started the race didn't finish. I felt like it was a legitimate race with no obstructions to the running of the race. Jeff Gordon won it simply by out-driving everybody else. At the end of the race, his car disappeared in the cloud of smoke he made drifting the car in a circle.
I liked the track and liked the race. It seems like the nature of the wrecks characterizes the race, and when there are no wrecks it's like there are no points of reference through the course of the race. Just one continuing circuit of cars attempting to outrun each other and end up number one. Yet, that's what I like best. I don't like to see a dozen or so cars taken out of the race because somebody tapped somebody else and set his traction adrift. Like when Dale Sr was tapped, his car took at immediate 90 degree right turn in front of another car, getting himself t-boned a split second after hitting the wall head-on at well over 100mph, snapping his neck and releasing his life. I remember who did that to him, thus winning the race. The next week the same driver had a good lead coming out of the last turn heading for the finish line and blew a tire. I do like to see somebody win the race who did it by his own skill. and the car, the pit crew, everybody involved.
To drive a car at 180 and 190 mph is awesome to me. To race a car at that speed all the more awesome. I can't help but be impressed by the skill of the young guys driving they cars. To drive as fast as they drive when your thinking has to be lightning fast, it takes young minds to keep up. The earlier race drivers were up in years compared to the ones racing now. Like Jr Johnson said of the new drivers, 'They're just boys.' Back when he raced, they were men, mostly guys who spent their teens running liquor, Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, wide-open characters that drove with just a seat belt often in 50s convertibles. Quite a lot of deaths and major injuries in that time. Also, serious fights erupted between the drivers. I've heard of a time Curtis Turner ran Fireball off the track, which he was known for doing. Fireball Roberts went at him with a tire iron when he finished the race. Not many of them are hillbillies any more.